1966 wasn’t exactly a weak year for cinema, but except for three films the output was less than herculean. ’66 was a great year, however, for avant garde rock music (Revolver, Pet Sounds, Blonde on Blonde, Aftermath), psychedelics, Haight Ashbury and general hippiedom, and it witnessed the birth of the nonfiction novel (Truman Capote‘s “In Cold Blood“).

But let’s focus on 15 stand-out films.

My hands-down choice for 1966’s three finest are Michelangelo Antonioni‘s Blow-Up, Robert Bresson‘s Au Hasard Balthazar and Richard BrooksThe Professionals.

The other 12 (and in no particular order) are Robert Wise‘s The Sand Pebbles, Bernard Girard‘s Dead Heat on a Merry Go-Round, Fred Zinnemann‘s A Man For All Seasons, John Frankenheimer‘s Grand Prix and Seconds, Jack Smight‘e Harper, Mike NicholsWho’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Arthur Penn‘s The Chase, Irvin Kershner‘e A Fine Madness, Charles WaltersWalk, Don’t Run, Claude Lelouch‘s A Man and a Woman and Billy Wilder‘s The Fortune Cookie.

HE to commentariat: Which 1966 films play best by your standards? Which seem the most fleet of mind and self-aware…the most vibrant and socially avant garde…the least moribund or tedious? The most purely enjoyable by a 21st Century yardstick?